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Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir review

AT A GLANCE
  • More open than previous entries
  • Much more than just a campaign
  • Brings genuinely new ideas
  • Less exciting than previous entries
  • Not beginner friendly
  • Tedious random battles

Love it or hate it, you’ve got to give Storm of Zehir points for effort. Developers Obsidian could easily have banged out a generic adventure for this expansion pack. Instead, they’ve produced a radical overhaul, one that’s not afraid to take a few risks.

They’ve turned the traditional Dungeons & Dragons RPG into a fantasy trading and empire building game. This doesn’t mean that the classic linear single-player narrative campaign is out; simply that it’s now complemented by a more open world, and several major new features for both the main campaign and for future mods that want to build more complex campaigns.

The first new feature is the party system. Neverwinter always let you control multiple characters, but in Zehir you’re forced to create a four person party from the outset, rather than recruiting them later.

In doing this, one thing immediately becomes obvious. Zehir damn well expects you to know your onions when it comes to D&D rules, and Neverwinter’s specific implementation. Creating four characters takes time, especially as you get a boost to roughly Level 3 before the game even starts. You can sidestep the process and have the computer do it for you, but it never does as good a job as you’ll get from manually massaging your stats and feats.

You start the game unarmed and under siege, fighting a small army of monsters, and Zehir is quite prepared to kill your newbie arse right there and then. Nor is death the minor setback it was back in the original game and the first expansion pack, Mask of the Betrayer. Without a Raise Dead spell or suitable magic trinket like a Coin of Life, most of your team can be taken out of action in a single fight. If nobody’s left to limp back to the nearest temple, consider your game well and truly overed. Thank goodness for the auto-save option.

More Info

Release date: Nov 18 2008 - PC (US)
Nov 21 2008 - PC (UK)
Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: Atari
Developed by: Obsidian
Franchise: Neverwinter Nights
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Alcohol Reference, Blood, Sexual Themes, Violence, Mild Language

4 comments

  • JohnnyMaverik - March 5, 2009 1:25 p.m.

    Not sure about this, I played the first with one of the expansions a few years back when my bro borrowed it from a mate for a week and it was ok although I was more than happy to revert back to playing Morrowind once his mate took it back. I recently bought it again to give to my bro, but haven’t played it since he’s got it and he’s in Portugal and I’m in London. So if this is a bit worse than the first in many ways, and I only found the first ok, it might be a waste of money... although the first may have had far more to offer which I just didn’t play long enough to experience... Plus I just don't have the cash to splash out on any game that looks minutely interesting, and while this game looks a bit more than that, the review hasn't filled me with quite enough excitement to say "this game will blow my mind"... dilemma :(
  • xenomorph99 - December 29, 2008 6:37 p.m.

    I haven't played NN2 in ages. This looks intriguing and might make me play it again.
  • Akiira - December 24, 2008 5:10 a.m.

    i like what they did about dieing. its closer to real dnd
  • zanthox - December 23, 2008 4:25 a.m.

    You have been waylaid by enemies and must defend yourself... SOUNDS GREAT!

Showing 1-4 of 4 comments

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